Melissa Stiksma

Melissa Stiksma

Graduate Research Assistant

Well-being, worker well-being, curiosity, work-life balance,

Melissa is a third year doctoral student conducting research with both Lauren Kuykendall in the I/O department and Todd Kashdan in the Clinical department. With Dr. Kuykendall, she studies 1) employees' use of vacation days and its impact on their well-being and 2) the effects of email communication after work hours on an individual's ability to recover and relax. With Dr. Kashdan, she is currently constructing a measure of schadenfreude as it relates to competition between employees in the workplace. Melissa has previously studied a number of constructs relevant to well-being, most notably curiosity, meaning in life, and alcohol's influence on social anxiety. Please see CV or Google Scholar for recent publications. 

Melissa received her Master's degree in Psychology from Florida Atlantic University (F.A.U.) under Ryne Sherman's advisement. Her thesis analyzed data collected through a National Science Foundation grant on cross-cultural personality, mindfulness, and clinical symptoms. As the principal investigator, she lived in Japan during the summer of 2014 to oversee the collection of data with her collaborators at the University of Tsukuba. 

Melissa received her Bachelor's from the Honors College of F.A.U. She received an Outstanding Thesis award for developing an effective mindfulness meditation session with Laura Vernon. 

Selected Publications

Kashdan, T.B., Stiksma, M.C., Disabato, D.J., McKnight, P.E., Bekier, J., Kaji, J., & Lazarus, R. (in press). The five-dimensional curiosity scale: Capturing the bandwidth of curiosity and identifying four unique subgroups of curious people. Journal of Research in Personality.

Goodman, F.R., Stiksma, M.C. & Kashdan, T.B. (2017). Goodman, F. R., Stiksma, M. C., & Kashdan, T. B. (2017). Social anxiety and the quality of everyday social interactions: The moderating influence of alcohol consumption. Behavior Therapy.

Kashdan, T.B., Goodman, F.R.,.Stiksma, M.C., Milius, C.R., & McKnight, P.E. (2017). Sexuality leads to boosts in mood and meaning in life with no evidence for the reverse direction: A daily diary investigation. Emotion.


May 2015 - Master of Arts in Psychology - Florida Atlantic University - Boca Raton, Florida 

May 2013 - Bachelor of Arts - Concentration in Psychology - Wilkes Honors College - Jupiter, Florida